My house really isn’t that big, so it’s a little surprising that my daughters can lose me in it. And yet, it happens. I’ll be in the room with my youngest daughter and then I leave to switch over the laundry or put something away in another room. It’s not long before I hear the shuffle of her feet as she quickly searches for me in one room and then the next. She doesn’t search long before she assumes the worst–that I’ve abandoned her and left her all alone in the house. I can tell just by the sound of her voice that she’s standing at the back door and crying for me.
Of course, I would never abandon her. So, I call out her name as loudly as I can, reassuring her that I’m still here. Her crying pauses as she listens closely to my call. Then after just a few seconds of this “Mommy Marco Polo,” she follows the sound of my voice to the one room she didn’t think to look in. When she sees me, her face lights up for a moment and then she falls into my arms, crying for just a few seconds more as if to tell me how frightening it was to lose sight of me.
Sometimes in the everyday busyness and chaos of life, we can lose sight of God. We are walking with Him and suddenly we notice that He’s taken another path, and we’re no longer by His side. Maybe a life crisis or tragedy interrupts our communion with Him and we can’t seem to find God through the darkness we’re in.
It’s so comforting to me that God never really abandons us. He doesn’t head out the door of our hearts and leave us all alone. God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5, NIV) and Brother Lawrence wrote, “You need not cry very loud; He is nearer to us than we think.”
Just like my daughter finds me as I call to her, we can also follow God’s voice to safety and reunion with Him and His purposes for us.
John 10:3- says:
The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice.
Sometimes our Shepherd opens the gate and calls out our name so that we’ll follow Him to a new place. At first, we may think we’ve been abandoned when we no longer see our Shepherd by our side. But, He’s simply leading us out and He’s issuing a truly personal call for us to join Him. He knows you, His precious sheep, and He has called you by your name. God not only loves the whole world, He loves you. He not only died for everyone, He died for you. He not only has the whole world in His hands, He has your world in His hands.
Because of His personal care for us, we don’t have to fear abandonment. We don’t have to fear any circumstance in our life, any tragedy, any deficit, anything new, anything from our past. God tells us, “Fear not, I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine” (Isaiah 43:1).
So, how do we succeed in this “Spiritual Marco Polo?”–this search for God in the dark places of life? We know His voice from the time we’ve spent with Him, so even when we cannot see Him at work in our lives, we can hear His call.
This takes effort on our part. It is a discipline to make time in our busy, fast-paced lives to focus on our Savior. A.W. Tozer wrote, “God has not bowed to our nervous haste nor embraced the methods of our machine age. It is well that we accept the hard truth now: The man who would know God must give time to Him! He must count no time wasted which is spent in the cultivation of His acquaintance.” We might grow in our faith a little when we listen to Christian speakers or read Christian books or take notes on the sermon on Sunday mornings, but only time spent in God’s presence, meditating on His Word to us in the Bible, really teaches us the sound of His voice.
We can argue that we’re too busy to study the Bible. Our work schedule is too hectic to allow for significant time in prayer. Our kids are too loud for us to spend any time in meditation. Yet, the time to learn the Shepherd’s voice is before darkness. Then, when we cannot see His face, we can still distinguish His voice and respond to His call.
Heather King is a wife, mom, Bible Study teacher, writer for www.myfrienddebbie.com and worship leader. Most importantly, she is a Christ follower with a desire to help others apply the Bible to everyday life with all its mess, noise, and busyness. To read more devotionals by Heather King, click here.
Copyright © 2011 Heather King